Int’l School of Tourism and Hotel Management (IST) reached the final of St. Xavier’s College Basketball Tournament 2017 in the expense of Ace Institute of Management on Friday.
There wasn’t much between the two sides, apart from slight height advantage to Ace Institute. Both teams made it to the semi-final winning everything on their way in a convincing manner.
No changes in the starting line-up either….but Ace switched to a 3-2 defense from their usual 2-3/2-1-2 formation.
In their previous defensive line..two on the outside usually double teamed on the ball handler and Ashish Singh came out to either collect the spoils or simply put more pressure. But on 3-2 Ashish was stuck on the low post…fine in stopping inside drive but unable to support the three on the perimetre. Besides, with the outside threat IST posed, zone defense probably wasn’t the best way to go.
In offence, Karma Tashi started out well on the low post but after about a minute he was dealt well by IST defense. Priyamsha Rajkarnikar stood tall, but he couldn’t get much shots under pressure either. And Ashish couldn’t do much in the first quarter.
IST on the other hand went for a mix of man to man and zone which did the job. But most of all, their outside shots swung the game in their favour. Once they got a few treys in, getting on the inside got a little easier..and players like Rabin Gautam and Shashwat Bikram don’t need much room to maneuver.
Few minutes into the match, IST started to pull away from Ace… ending first quarter with a 8 point lead. Shaswat hitting from the outside while Rabin squeezing on the inside.
Ace closed the gap a little in the second quarter but they were far from a comeback.
IST were at it again after the half-time break. Man to man pressure….forcing Ace to cheap turnovers. Midway through the third quarter, IST had built up 15 point lead. Shashwat once again shining…. added 9 points to his 4 treys in the first half while Basanta Gurung added two treys.
With the final quarter yet to play….IST players were already celebrating….confidence was on the high. And rightly so. The had enough margin to put their mind to rest. Ace closed the gap…but IST held on as they booked their place in the final.
Highest scorer in the match was Rabin Gautam with 22 individual points for IST. As for Shaswat, another terrific game…scoring 21 points and earning himself the man of the match prize for his overall performance.
Final score: IST 65-55 Ace (17-09, 10-13, 21-13, 17-23).